Just before we sign-off for 2022, we wanted to take the time to reflect on the year that has been and just some of the key achievements we reached throughout 2022. We’d like to once again thank our members, stakeholders and everyone involved with the Vinyl Council for their ongoing support and involvement – it wouldn’t be possible without you! Here are 10 of our biggest achievements from 2022:
- Successfully held PVC AUS 2022
Following two years of postponement due to the pandemic, one of the clear highlights for 2022 was being able to bring the industry back together for our PVC AUS Shared Horizons conference on the Gold Coast in June. Over 150 delegates attended the two-day conference to hear from expert speakers and debate key industry-relevant topics including finding solutions for PVC circularity in a circular economy, transitioning to lower carbon PVC products, avoiding substances of high concern and taking uPVC window manufacturing to the next level, as well as enjoying a number of social networking activities. Check out a short video recap of the conference here.
- Launched the VinylCycle Label for recycled PVC
In early 2022 we launched our new VinylCycle Label in collaboration with Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA), which aims to verify recycled PVC content claims and encourage uptake of recycled PVC design and product innovation. The VinylCycle Label builds on our PVC Stewardship commitment to encourage the use of recycled PVC in new products, and VinylCycle verification is available to both local and international applicants claiming at least 10% of the PVC compound (by weight) constitutes recycled PVC. If your business might be interested in applying for VinylCycle verification, get in touch with our office!
- Oversaw another new record in PVC Stewardship compliance
2022 has once again seen a new record of 26 Signatories in the previous reporting period demonstrate full compliance with their applicable sustainability objectives as part of our voluntary PVC Stewardship Program, with 80% of Signatories overall achieving at least 80% compliance with the respective commitments. The full progress report from the last reporting period can be accessed by clicking here.
- Passed 300 participating hospitals in our PVC Recycling in Hospitals scheme
During 2022 our joint PVC Recycling in Hospitals scheme, operated with program partners Baxter Healthcare and Welvic Australia, passed the significant milestone of 300 participating hospitals with over 320 currently signed-up. Despite some ongoing interruptions to collection and transportation logistics, the program recycled 119 tonnes of PVC medical waste in 2021, equivalent to almost 6 million IV fluid bags.
- Updated our Best Environmental Practice product verification scheme
Following a lengthy consultation and review period with stakeholders through the second half of 2022, the VCA is in the process of updating its Best Environmental Practice (BEP) product verification scheme with an expected launch of BEP ‘2.0’ in early 2023. Updates to the scheme will include opening it up to complying PVC products across all applications, additional guidelines and a closer alignment to the VCA’s PVC Stewardship commitments to streamline reporting processes.
- Continued to promote uPVC windows and Industry Code of Practice accreditation
The VCA has continued to explore and carry out numerous promotional opportunities for the uPVC windows sector through 2022, including the development of promotional brochures, project case studies with members, numerous feature articles and a short video on Industry Code of Practice (ICP) accreditation for uPVC profiles. User and content guidelines for a new uPVC Windows Instagram account have recently been accepted by the Windows Alliance Taskforce, with the account to be launched early next year. To continue to drive ongoing growth and collaboration across the sector we will also be holding some relevant events in early 2023, with planning for two windows installation workshops as well as a short course on window fire retardancy and behaviour well underway and further details to be circulated shortly.
- Progressed the TexBack business case and scheme design
Following the completion of the Material Flows Analysis in the ongoing TexBack project during late 2021, testing of the project’s technology at the PVC Separation pilot plant continued into 2022 along with the development of the business case and stewardship scheme design. The final draft documents for the business case and scheme design have now been received, and the VCA has provided feedback to help inform the final report and implementation road map going forward. Two PVC Separation pilot plants are currently being prepared for imminent shipping to Europe and South Australia, with potential investors waiting to see proof of concept.
- Farewelled long time CEO Sophi and welcomed new CEO Jim to the fold
During our PVC AUS conference dinner this year we farewelled and thanked long-time VCA CEO Sophi MacMillan, who left us to take up a new role as Project Manager at the Australian Resilient Flooring Association after an incredible 24 years with the VCA! Shortly after, we welcomed Jim Coulston as our new CEO, who joined us following an extensive career in the plastics industry through both commercial and technical roles across a range of sectors. While Sophi has no doubt left big shoes to fill, Jim has quickly brought his own expertise and passion to the role as he leads the VCA into a new chapter in its history.
- Kept members and stakeholders informed of industry updates and developments
As well as our various in-person and virtual events and webinars throughout the year, as usual we ensured to keep members and industry stakeholders up to date on news, developments and information relevant to the industry. In addition to our monthly online Retro news round-ups, members were kept informed via regular email bulletins on relevant topics including recycling, chemicals of concern, news from the building and construction sector, legislative updates, funding and grant opportunities and more.
- Continued building the Council’s social media presence
This year we gained over 250 new followers on our LinkedIn account from industry participants and stakeholders across the sector, which provides a far-reaching platform to continue promoting industry products, information and achievements to our followers and the broader public. If you’re not already, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn at Vinyl Council of Australia.